Bone marrow lab in Yerevan gets European certification
Published: Sunday June 10, 2012
Yerevan - The international scientific community once again gave high marks to the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR), following the recent triennial inspection of its HLA Typing Laboratory in Yerevan.
The extensive onsite inspection, which took place on April 23, was the third to be carried out since 2006, and resulted in the renewal of the ABMDR lab's accreditation by the European Federation of Immunogenetics (EFI). An international agency that regulates bone marrow registries across the world, the EFI sets and maintains standards and protocols, provides various forums for scientific exchange, supports research and training, and develops relations with organizations in the field. The ABMDR HLA Typing Lab is the first facility of its kind and the only EFI-accredited lab in the entire Caucasus region.
The inspection of the lab on April 23 was conducted by EFI inspectors Dr. Ingrid Faé of Austria and Dr. Elisaveta Naumova of Bulgaria. Within the framework of the accreditation process, the inspectors examined the lab's equipment and operational standards, evaluated the skills level of the staff, and reviewed the integrity of tissue-typing, storage, and other specialized procedures. The inspectors also met with high-ranking ABMDR executives including Dr. Frieda Jordan, president; Dr. Sevak Avagyan, executive director; and Dr. Mihran Nazaretyan, medical director.
Doctors Faé and Naumova concluded their inspection with high praise for the ABMDR lab's scientific and technical excellence, thereby approving the renewal of the facility's EFI accreditation.
Dr. Frieda Jordan, who had traveled to Armenia to be on hand for the inspection of the lab, expressed great delight at ABMDR's latest milestone. "Whenever the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry is given kudos by the international scientific community, and the EFI in particular, our work becomes all the more worthwhile," she said. "I thank the EFI inspectors for their conscientious effort to maintain the highest possible standards in the field of immunogenetics. I also convey my heartfelt gratitude to our outstanding staff, as well as volunteers and supporters worldwide, for making ABMDR's life-saving mission possible."
ABMDR president to receive Holy Etchmiadzin award
Dr. Jordan will be honored with the St. Nerses the Graceful (St. Nerses Shnorhali) Medal, which was bestowed on her by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
The medal, accompanied by a Pontifical Encyclical, will be presented to Dr. Jordan by Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, on Sunday, July 8, upon the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral, in Burbank, California.
The St. Nerses the Graceful Medal is being conferred on Dr. Jordan in recognition of her outstanding service to the Armenian nation since 1999. That year, Dr. Jordan co-founded the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR), in order to help Armenians worldwide survive life-threatening blood-related illnesses by recruiting potential bone marrow donors, matching donors to those who require bone marrow transplants, and raising public awareness of critical health issues.
Archbishop Derderian, who had recommended to the Catholicosate to confer the St. Nerses the Graceful Medal on Dr. Jordan, said, "Dr. Jordan, along with ABMDR's corps of selfless volunteers, has helped mobilize Armenian communities throughout the globe to advance the life-saving mission of the registry. Moreover, thanks to Dr. Jordan's persistent efforts, the registry was able to establish a first-of-its-kind Stem Cell Harvesting Center in Yerevan, and last year Armenia became the first country in the Caucasus Region to host an international meeting of the European Federation of Immunogenetics. Given these accomplishments and the fact that she tirelessly helps expand the ranks of ABMDR, Dr. Jordan personifies the highest ideals of humanitarian service."
After the Western Diocese announced that Dr. Jordan was to receive the St. Nerses the Graceful Medal, she stated, "This is an extraordinary honor, and one that I will cherish with the entire ABMDR family of volunteers and supporters."
Dr. Jordan continued: "I convey my profound gratitude to His Holiness Karekin II as well as Archbishop Derderian, whose exceptional support of the registry is an ongoing source of inspiration for our entire community. By informing congregations about the ABMDR mission, highlighting our work during special Days of Prayer, encouraging us to make presentations before the public, and facilitating our recruitment efforts at Diocese churches, Archbishop Derderian continues to be a genuine pillar of our cause."
The Divine Liturgy on July 8, starting at 10:30 AM, will be celebrated by Rev. Father Khajag Shahbazyan, Pastor of St. Leon Cathedral. The church is located at 3325 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank.
About the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry: Established in 1999, ABMDR, a nonprofit organization, helps Armenians worldwide survive life-threatening blood-related illnesses by recruiting and matching donors to those requiring bone marrow stem cell transplants. To date, the registry has recruited over 21,554 donors in 14 countries across three continents, identified 2,135 patients, and facilitated 13 bone marrow transplants.